Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

APS- American Physical Society






064522 (1-19)


We propose a theory of nonlinear surface resistance of a dirty superconductor in a strong radio-frequency (rf) field, taking into account magnetic and nonmagnetic impurities, finite quasiparticle lifetimes, and a thin proximity-coupled normal layer characteristic of the oxide surface of many materials. The Usadel equations were solved to obtain the quasiparticle density of states (DOS) and the low-frequency surface resistance Rs as functions of the rf field amplitude H0. It is shown that the interplay of the broadening of the DOS peaks and a decrease of a quasiparticle gap caused by the rf currents produces a minimum in Rs(H0) and an extended rise of the quality factor Q(H0) with the rf field. Paramagnetic impurities shift the minimum in Rs(H0) to lower fields and can reduce Rs(H0) in a wide range of H0. Subgap states in the DOS can give rise to a residual surface resistance while reducing Rs at higher temperatures. A proximity-coupled normal layer at the surface can shift the minimum in Rs(H0) to either low and high fields and can reduce Rs below that of an ideal surface. The theory shows that the behavior of Rs(H0) changes as the temperature and the rf frequency are increased, and the field dependence of Q(H0) can be very sensitive to the materials processing. Our results suggest that the nonlinear rf losses can be minimized by tuning pair-breaking effects at the surface using impurity management or surface nanostructuring


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Original Publication Citation

Kubo, T., & Gurevich, A. (2019). Field-dependent nonlinear surface resistance and its optimization by surface nanostructuring in superconductors. Physical Review B, 100(6), 064522 doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.100.064522


0000-0001-5932-2942 (Kubo), 0000-0003-0759-8941 (Gurevich)